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With the nation so badly divided, how much does it really matter who the president is?
November 1st, 2011
12:52 PM ET

With the nation so badly divided, how much does it really matter who the president is?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Think NASCAR. With the start of the primaries a few months away, the Republican race for president is on.

Here's the deal: Once Republicans started their engines, Rick Perry jumped out front and then promptly crashed going into the first turn. Michele Bachmann's car wouldn't start. Herman Cain blew a tire just as he grabbed the lead ... and now he says he's remembering why. Sure.

As for some of the others - such as Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul - they're in the back of the pack fighting for position. They’re long shots at best at this point.

All of which leaves Mitt Romney in the lead. After news of the harassment allegations against Cain, Romney becomes the prohibitive favorite to take the checkered flag, win the nomination and take on President Barack Obama next November. That’s at least for now.

Romney is the same guy the Republicans wanted no part of in 2008 when John McCain was the GOP nominee.

Polls show most Republicans think Romney has the best chance of beating Obama. But even if he does, so what? What difference does it really make? Given the bitter partisanship of Congress, how much does it even matter if Romney wins?

Unless Republicans win the Senate and retain control of the House of Representatives, Romney won't be able to get any more done than Obama has been able to do.

Our country hasn’t been this divided since the Civil War. There was a time long ago when politicians from both sides of the aisle were able to acknowledge their differences yet still work together. No more.

Here's my question to you: With the nation so badly divided, how much does it really matter who the president is?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

And we'd love to know where you're writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: 2012 Election • White House
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. Jared in St.Louis

    Quite a bit Jack. If we can have a president that is known to be able to work with opposite side of isle, like Ron Paul, we can have a role model for all legislators to use as a compass toward finding common ground.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  2. Noel Sivertson Roswell New Mexico.

    More important is who the congress will be. If the Republicans keep the house and take over the senate and gain larger majorities then it will be important who the president is, unless the Republicans get veto proof strength.

    If the Republicans win the White House as well as complete control of the congress then their march toward a lord-serf or patrician-plebian society will be a cake walk.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  3. s in fl

    As long as money controls the message and the vote, NO. The country and the economy were on their way to solvency in 1999. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out exactly what happened in the interim. Until those very events become part of the discussion instead of a constant diet fear-mongering diatribe by the loudest "wallet" in the room, it will only get worse.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  4. Glen_Mich

    The occupant of the White House has not been this important to the future of America since the Civil war. I was raised GOP but left the party in mid eighties when I thought it had gone crazy now...The GOP is just insane.

    A Republican controlled America wouldn't be much different than Germany in the 1930s They've already started their social re-engineering campaigns nationwide.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  5. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Yes it matters more now than ever. With one party, it's everyone for themselves, the perpetual drumbeat for tax cuts for the wealthy, and always a buildup for the military. For decades this country has been spending on the military to protect other countries when those countries should be spending for their own protection. The other party is introspective want to improve education, health and welfare, and infrastructure. People should list what is important to them in order of importance. Evaluate it then vote according to the results. Not just I'm a Republican/Democrat. Everyone should think and no react

    November 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  6. Ken Victoria BC

    Of course it matters a great deal. The President is not only the leader of your country but the leader of the free world. Therefore, Americans must make the decision for the best person to be that leader.GOP policies are against world opinion.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Ed in Harrisburg

    What is clear to me is that only a fool would want to be president in 2012 which is exactly what happened in Germany in 1933 with Hitler's rise to power. A politician generally regarded as a fool was elected and took over. America is quite vulnerable. America needs an FDR and there is none in site. Obama meant well, but is botching it. The Republicans are simply the ship of fools and the smart money is keeping its mouth shut and hedging against America...Very sad

    November 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  8. leemarie50

    It matters a great deal. With everyday Obama is in, is divides this nation more. America needs a president and mot a campaigner. We need someone to bring us as Americans together instead of looking at everyone as Democrat or Republican. Ombama just fuels the fire.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  9. Pat in Michigan

    To start with it does not matter who the president is . He doesnt do squat.
    What does matter is who is in the house and senate .They make the laws.They set the funding. they control the economy.
    If you want to know why we have no jobs get of your duff and see who tried to pass jobs bills and who blocked them.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  10. Dave - Phx

    It matters a lot. We still have to interact with the rest of the world and make rational decisions at home. This can't happen with someone who panders to the hard core right who seem to want less government, but want to legislate everything I do morally.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  11. riley oday

    It only matters if the president is of the party with a majority large enough to pass bills. But the nation is divided.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  12. Russ in PA

    It matters a great deal, which is why we need Ron Paul as our next President. He is the only one that represents true change and direction for our country. What other candidate stands for limited government, personal liberties, and freedom of choice? None, and that includes the current president. It was liberty and free markets that made America great, and we need a person that has stood for such values his entire career in the White House. We don't need another pandering politicians intent on winning votes with bail outs and hand outs: that has already been tried to death.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    November 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  13. Barbara Leavitt

    It matters only if you are poor or what they like to call 'middle class'........which is rapidly disappearing..........both parties are over the top.......Democrats on wanting to help everyone and Republican wanting to help ONLY the wealthy. They all should be ashamed of themselves. Rather than working together and saving this great country they'd rather tear it apart. Worse than small children.
    Henderson Nevada

    November 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  14. mike halter

    Yes Jack it matters very much to me. If Obama is still president Americans have sent a message to the
    Republican / Tea Party that the rich and powerfull are not going to push the right wing agenda on us.
    And that America is for everyone .
    Michael Largo Florida

    November 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  15. Pete in Georgia

    Are you serious ??? Only to the point of saving our country, that's all.
    With a conservative administration who understands free enterprise, how it works, and who doesn't demonize corporations who make a profit and can actually hire people while doing so.....................with this kind of sanity restored to Washington, then America will have a chance to once again become prosperous with full employment instead of looking to Big Government, endless taxes, mindless regulations..................all strangling ingenuity and free enterprise.
    The difference is HUGE.
    Beyond HUGE.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  16. METALWORKER

    For people in your possition, not much.
    For people like m,e, and we outnumber your kind 20 – 1, a whole bunch.
    If a tea party member gets in all wemon rights will be gone, voting for most will begone.
    I earn nlittli or nothing now and that will be gone.
    You see , it ain't the corporate incom tax, noe one pays it anyway, its the high min. wage. Georgia has already lowered its min wage for 16 yr. old highschool workers and increased the numb. of hr. they can woork.
    First child lobor then slave labor.\
    We do not stand a chance.
    I look 15-20 yrs there will be another revolution.
    I am so glad that I will not be around to see it as it will not be prety.
    The path this country is on, rich controling it all, well the commoner will not stand for that forever.
    METALWORKER in Illinoids

    November 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  17. Bob D Iowa

    Jack this is an issue only the American voters can answer. Since 2008 the President has had an agenda where he did not and could not force the issues pass the Senate then in 2010 the Tea Party took over the House. So for the first 3 years nothing could get done... Now that the Republicans have shown their true colors that their only agenda is to make Obama a one term persident and to hell with everything else. The voters must re-establish the House and Senate to a body of individuals by the people for the people and not a play ground for big money and the religious right. Until we can Get Money Out of the political system we are only pawns to Big Money.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  18. Johnny C (Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    It is very important since one of the key roles a president should do is lead, not divide. The head boss in Cool Hand Luke stated is correctly ... "What we have here is a failure to communicate".

    November 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  19. Larry -Denver

    That's the total bottom line of t his countries disconnect. It will never matter who is the president as long as two parties can only think of unseating the other party in power. Its why we have unresolved issues, budgets, cuts, tax loopholes etc. We are a disfunctional country allowing representative to only represent the party not the people.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  20. John from Alabama

    Jack: Just because the Republicans are negative, and are dividing this nation into the haves and have nots, does not mean the the election for president is not important. The division in this nation began under President George W. Bush, and will only change when people like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Erick Cantor are defeated or watch the Tea Party destory the Republican Party. Hate only brings more hate, and if it continues brings violence and death. I hope the supercommittee can bring Congress together, but I doubt it. Only leaders of both political parties can stop this division.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  21. Dan Kash

    Jack, only if we had a Tea Party president would it matter! And God help the middle class, seniors and the poor classes if one is elected! They would be in for the biggest screwing in history! That’s ok though, when we are all slaves to the rich they will all finally have to pay taxes cause we won’t make enough to be able to !
    Dan K Owens Cross roads Alabama

    November 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  22. Hafeez from New York

    It does matter Jack!
    We need a strong President now. A President (Either Republican or Democrat) who don't bow to opposition party all the time. A President who keep his promises which he make during Presidential compaign to the American people and use his Executive power if opposition block any of his good ideas. A President who show that he is incharge, not just begging to opposition party in House and Senate Please, please pass this bill. I am hoping for the best next year.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  23. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Very much so. Research shows that, in general, the biggest player in the general parameters of the budget is the President. We simply can't afford to elect a Republican right now. We certainly don't need someone like Perry, with his delusions of Rapture, to have anything to do with policy in the Middle East.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  24. bonnie from NJ

    It matters to the middle class, elect a Republican and we are done!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  25. Cathy

    Not really, no matter who gets in, they are only going to think of themselves and their cronies.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  26. Greg in Arkansas

    Really Jack,
    I mean really?????
    I guess it all depends on whether you consider yourself part of the 99% or the 1%.
    The politicians seem to cater to contributors rather than voters while businesses view employees as liabilities instead of assets. They don't realize that every one of THEIR employees is a CUSTOMER to another business and cutting worker wages and benefits to increase tax free profits for stockholders is what's destroying the economy.
    The GOP wants more tax cuts and less regulatory oversight for Wall Street, Banks and businesses to maximize profits while the Democrats hope to protect consumers and the environment......silly question.......unless you are not sure if you are a 99%er or a 1%er........

    November 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  27. Paul From Austin Texas

    It does matter. All of us need a leader we can respect. We need a person that is strong enough to put up with all the negative questions that will need to be answered daily. Our country has just gotten to negative over the years.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  28. Rich in Gainesville FL

    I've been saying for awhile now that it really doesn't much matter who's president. Jack, even if you were president there'd only be so much you could do without Congress going along. And that's good. We don't want an all-powerful president. So by all means, let's focus on our own congressman. Probably he's a nice guy, but is he a go-along-get-along guy who's part of the problem? Chances are he is, so he's gotta go. Get people in there who are aggressive about representing us and not afraid to ruffle the feathers of their party leadership. And if you're in doubt about it, just throw the bum out.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  29. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Well despite our dysfunctional congress it still does mater who our president is. You see Jack the president sets the agenda. The congress holds the purse strings. The president can still over ride congress with executive orders but he is limited to some degree. We went to war in Libya without congress and the president just signed an executive order to address the prescription drug shortage and he is likely to sign another executive order to address his jobs bill. We will have to wait and see but the point is if a president has an agenda then he can get what he/she wants done without congress no mater how much it costs the country in national respect or monetarily.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  30. Jk from Minnesota

    After watching the Bush Administration in action, it does matter what character of the President is.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  31. John B.

    It doesn"t matter at all who the President is Jack. The Republicans are willing to waste four years to defeat a Democratic President. If the next President is a Republican, the Democrats will waste another four years trying to defeat him or her. And so on. Congress has the responsibility to write laws that help this country but instead, they choose to act like little children, undermining the other party time after time, after time. I am totally fed up with all of it.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  32. Al

    Jack, does it matter who writes your blog? The should be obvious.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  33. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    As long as we continue to build the walls of absolute ideology higher and higher, and we continue to lose the American drive built on compassion and understanding for one another, it will never matter who is the President.

    Our ego driven lust for power and our new greed driven culture will not allow any human to fully succeed now or in the future as President.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  34. Kevin in CA

    It REALLY matters. Most of all it matters for the Judicial system – reference the current 5-4 majority of ultra right wing extremest. i.e corporations = people

    November 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  35. Doug Ericson

    If the candidates are the same it won't make any difference, which is exactly the case with Obama versus Romney. Doug. Pepperell, MA.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  36. Mel - Houston

    Your right Jack not much. He rarely gets a law passed by Congress to sign. If it weren't for his executive orders nothing would get done.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  37. Bob from Melbourne

    The President sets not only the agenda and direction but the tone of the nation. The country is now more divided than any time since the civil war. Our President has chosen to set the tone of Class Warfare pitting neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother. Creating winners and losers and catering only to his donor base (Labor Unions). The status quo of barrowing now and expecting future generation to pay for it has gotten us into a hole we may never recover from. All the while the Occupy Wall Street crowd cry’s Give Me, You Owe Me. When I grew up I ask “how do I become rich too”). Today people ask (“what due the rich owe me”)? Yes Jack we do need a President and I hope we’ll get one soon.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  38. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl with little to no difference in both major parties, it's business as usual after each election and the chant of "Change". if you keep making the same mistakes, you get the same results, no matter who is making them.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  39. monique anderson

    YES it matters who the President is. First of all President Obama has done a very good job considering the woes of the Economic and wars left over by the previous administration. He has gotten a lot done, but opposition party or the party of 'NO' has come against him in every way......Republicans call themselves Chrisitians but you have to have LOVE, COMPASSION, OBEDIENCE to Gods law not mans law or mans own wants and wills. The poor we will have with us always.......thats in the bible.......the Republicans want to cut every program possible, every accomplish that President Obama has made; they don't give him credit for nothing; Bin Laden is killed on the Presidents watch and the Republicans want that too....All the Clowns running for President are a bunch of JOKERS. None of them have said anything substancely. The only two that has any good common since is Huntsman and Santoria and they are at the bottom and they have their ghost in the closets too......If Republicans were in office they would cut Medicare, SS, Healthcare, any programs for the poor, they will destroy the middle family and all that will be left are the Rich and the Poor. ....The Top; Wall street and the bottom; Main street.....The people that voted the Republicans back into control of Congress need to vote them all out of congress and than we can get the President Obama and the Democrats to work with and for all people. ..... The Republicans are horrible because they all vote 'NO'; will one stand up and say this is wrong and we have to help the country and stop fighting the President.......The U.S. has become something out of a weird and deadly movie.......where they say anything about race and do any thing against race....This is a sad country that is a mockery to all that we were build on. Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, Vitter [just because hes was on the prostitute list because he is no asset to Louisiana nor Washington], should bew voted out of the House of Representatives; there are others that need to be voted but don't have their names right now.....Any one that is on Medicare, SS, health insurance or any kind of program should not be voting for Republicans because they are trying to take every thing away from you guys..... wake up America......

    November 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  40. kim in pa.

    Jack, Of course it matters who the president is. The problem is they will tell you anything they think the public wants to hear just to get elected. Take Obama's "CHANGE" campaign as an example. I guess we didn't read between the lines.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  41. Jim

    Jack, When you look at the current field of Presidential wannabes, Obama seems to be the only one who cares for all the people and posesses intelligence and is articulate. Make no mistake about it. This presidential election is about race and the destruction of the middle class. There are forces working that seem similar to the 1930's Our next President means a great deal!
    Jim Los Angeles

    November 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  42. James in Springfield, VA

    It really depends on how you look at it. The president is basically the face of the nation on an international level but he or she does not get anything done in this country without Congress. They pass the laws and the President signs it too make it official or veto's it. President Obama has tried and tried again to get things going but the Tea Party/Republicans keep getting in the way like a bunch of cry babies. The Tea Party/Republicans have no idea on how to legislate and they need to be voted out of office. That would be a good start.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  43. Paulette in Dallas

    With the nation in its current situation it would be nice to have a President that is a Leader, one who can unite all of the people,and that is liked and respected by Americans. It does not seem like we are going to get that no matter who wins in 2012. The only hope for the would be Hillary Clinton.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  44. Ed from California

    Jack....I firmly believe that the voter turnout in 2012 will be huge with a huge turnover in Congress. People with an "R" at the ends of their names will be an endangered species. Our President is a smart, compassionate and a caring man, and who by the way is cleaning up the world. He's making the world a safer place. Jack, Obama is in, in 2012. No one wants to go backwards, like we are right now. All of our problems is on Boehner and his two puppet masters who just want to get richer beyond their own beliefs. Think before you vote.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  45. Leisa in Alabama

    Hopefully we will be saying Yes we will elect Ron Paul and not another money spending warmonger. Would'nt it be wonderful if we actually had a president that knows the Constisution and will take a stand in defense of our freedom and liberties? Or has the public been dumbed down by an inept educational system so badly they don't know what freedom and liberty is about much less our Constitution

    November 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  46. Jared Christiansen from Ellsworth, WI

    It doesn't really matter who the president is. The problem is the President speaks for everyone and Congress speaks for everyone....essentially creating a roadblock when there are opposite parties in both branches of office. But even then you still have the two parties themselves in Congress fighting. To be honest...this problem would be solved if everyone would become educated in politics and 100% of people voted like our democracy is suppose to work. Until then...I guess I'll just have to listen to people whine who don't vote and put up with the 20% of people who do vote which whom always vote with the same party.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  47. Kim , Dodge City, Kansas

    Not really. The President has no practical power, holds no sway over Congress or their lobbyists masters, and no longer is the spokesperson for the people. Presidential elections are permitted to continue, by the grace of our military-industrial complex, in order to appease the populace and lull them into believing that they matter. It is mostly a carnival side-show that provides a public distraction so the real crime of willfully destroying our country, for profit, can continue unabated.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  48. Rick McDaniel

    What matters, is that we currently have a spendthrift in the WH, who is likely to spend us into default. Allowing him to be re-elected would heighten the risk to our country, greatly.

    At this point, the unknown is a lesser risk, than the known. We would be better off to take our chances with the Republicans, or even an independent, if one runs........than with Obama and the Democrats.

    We will likely become another Greece......with all of the issues surrounding that possibility, and perhaps worse, if Obama is re-elected. Fiscal irresponsibility, is putting the entire country on the edge, now......and it is highly unlikely, we could survive 4 more years of irresponsibility in fiscal policy, from Obama. He IS the worst President this country has EVER seen, in economic matters.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  49. Kenneth in California

    It doesn't matter if one party is looking ahead to the next election and refuses to legislate for the common good of the people.
    But alas, no one care call that treason as the good ship United States sinks in the Congressional sea of selfishness.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  50. pierre glenn

    This nation is divide cause of race, power,money,heartless senate, congress.The middle class n low income have no voice n america cause, politican lke tht away n they being brought by big money holder. thanx yu columbia , Mo

    November 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  51. David from Herndon, VA

    Yeah. The democrats are ineffective, but at least they're not evil. You can't vote for evil.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  52. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Until lobbying is banned, along wiht Super Pacs, it doesn't matter who gets elected because the wealthy/coporations will control what happens politically.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  53. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    In 2000 my friend said, "Republicans and Democrats are both owned by Big business, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. I'm voting for Ralph Nader. Enough others voted for Nader so that Bush was appointed president by the Supreme Court.

    Gore wouldn't have taken us surplus to deficit. He wouldn't have started two wars. It wouldn't have taken him years to stop denying Global Warming. He wouldn't have let Wall Street get bailed out without the strings attached sought by Dodd and Barney Frank. You don't have to look back very far to see the kind of difference between disaster and business as usual.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  54. Bob from Bellmore, New York

    It matters a lot. The President appoints Supreme Court Judges, and that impacts the country for decades to come. The President also represents this country on the world stage, and I just cannot see Mitt Romney, or any of the other Republican candidates, doing that better than President Obama. On the domestic side, nothing will change; it never does. Only the players change.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  55. Steve

    That's what makes a "great" President, it's been awhile (JFK, Reagan) I still ahve hope Obama can become one in the 2nd term.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  56. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Jack

    I must say this is your best question of the year. America is greatly divided and that reality is reflected in the publicly elected officials that we place into office. Americans need to think about the the "Good of the Many" as opposed to their own personal interest. Until that happens it won't matter who is in office because elected officials will merely take turnss doing to the other party what was done to them when they were in the majority. We are our own worst enemy and we don't seem to know it.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  57. Cy Gardner

    Have you ever seen "It's A Wonderful LIfe"? It's the difference between living in Pottersville or Bedford Falls. In Pottersville, the richest expoit the population to the fullest. They force them to pay high rents to live in run down tenements. In Bedford Falls, people work hard to buy their own homes and keep their self respect. The Mr. Potters'; Mr. Koch's; Mr. Murdoch's and Mr. Rove's of the USA think the masses of America are sheep to be sheared. They think money and voting rights belong to those who fall in line. The Democrats believe that a viable middle class is vital to the future of a free and prosperous democracy. There is a HUGE difference. It's the difference between a free society and a herd of scared, desperate sheep. cy from arlington, va

    November 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  58. Rob in NC

    It makes no difference. The president is a figurehead at this point with no real power or purpose. You need the top lobbyists and bankers to tell them what to do, they're the only ones they listen to.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  59. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It doesn’t matter who the president is, he has been bought and paid for by the special interests, or will be. But your question is inverted. What really matters is that we are so divided, the special interests always get their way Half of us are fighting to preserve our way of life and all the principles our country stands for. The other half is a bunch of low information morons who can only process the simplest of campaign rhetoric, a la Bush. The slightest hint of nuance boggles their tiny little minds and that is why we see lunatics populating the Republican field.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  60. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    It only matters if Congress is totally changed and we have a new system in place, including term limits but I know the answer to that one, fat chance. The American people will put our fate in the party of NO who works for the rich and then in 2014 we will be like Greece except much more violence will ensue including riots and many deaths. Get ready Americans for the next Depression.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  61. ken, atlantic city, nj

    It does not matter at all. The dems and pubs are both owned by wall street and will not do anything to help main street

    November 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  62. Riley, Seattle

    Given that Republicans traditionally go for the jugular and Democrats into bend-over-backwards mode, I suppose more will get done if Romney is president. Dems had majorities coming out of the 2008 elections and could not get much done because they were too busy showing how accomodating they could be of Republicans. Republicans, God bless their tiny little hearts, never make this mistake, and sure-as-shooting will not make it in 2013 if given even an inch.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  63. Craig Tyson

    It doesn't matter. I have less respect for my government than at any time in my 42 year life. I find them to be relevant to me, only in that they can set policy that hurts my household. Otherwise, I no longer look to the government for guidance or advice. Won't be long before I cut the financial strings that are remaining.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  64. Jamie

    From Aurora, IL
    Of course it matters – those of us who are moderate cant help but wonder why the GOP has failed to field a single viable candidate. I dont think they WANT the White House in 2012, and are focusing instead on 2016.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  65. Well

    Because if it has a R by his names the companies will see that their ploy to keep jobs from happening until people vote the way they want them too works.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  66. muhron

    No, it doesn't matter who is President, and the reason is NOT that the country is divided. The reason is that both parties cater to huge vested interests and give their power either to minority ideologies or to the most powerful capital. The hard working people, of any political persuation, are left behind.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  67. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    it's the difference between a Democracy with a President that will protect seniors Social Security and Medicare IF Obama is re-elected OR a Chinese Communist style "Corporatocracy" brodering on a Dictatorship with an Outsourcing Quisling like Romney as President esp IF he has a Republican House and Senate.

    I think the Republicans would turn America into a 1920's Italy or 1930's Germany WITHOUT the JOBS that at least those two political systems provided for their people.bask then AND they would STEAL ever dollar that seniors paid into Social Security and Medicare.

    don't think it could happen? the Republicans have TOLD you that's their PLAN!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  68. impeach all of of congress

    Exactly. Obama is not the problem. Congress, both houses, both parties, are the problem. Get rid of all of them and start over.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  69. Mark from Birmingham Al

    It does not matter in the least. Especially of Romney is the republican nominee. He's basically Obama lite.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  70. LA Belle

    It matters if we want 'change'.

    Why would anyone want four or eight more years of Republican obstructionism. We already have a huge debt/deficit due to their war lies and rebates in the millions of dollars to the wealthy who didn't need or deserve it.

    Now the lunatics cry 'wolf' about cutting the spending. Too late, Republicans, the bills you created have to be paid. So, don't think you're fooling the 'little people' with your cut, cap and balance propaganda. We will come up with our own plans come November, 2012.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  71. Richard Lord

    Of course it matters. The character and integrity of our president is a reflection of who we are as a country. (This is why 2000-2008 was such a dark period, and we'll feel those reverberations for another decade.)

    Romney is their candidate, hands down. The others are rich, empty-headed buffoons pursuing a vanity project (or possibly worse, they actually believe their impoverished worldview would benefit the country).

    November 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  72. Mark in Las Vegas

    It really doesn't matter much at this point. The Republicans have blocked everything they could that Obama proposed. Mitch McConnell said his only mission was to make Obama a one term President. That says it all. Mitch McConnell would sell out the country to win his point. If we were in a time of declared war, some of these Republicans would be considered friends of the enemy.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  73. Bruce from Cypress Texas

    At this point in time Jack, it makes no difference who the POTUS is, as long as, most Americans are cynical and Congress is dysfunctional and incapable of conducting important business, the United States will continue on its current path.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  74. allen

    Jack,

    Doesn't really matter who is in the driver's seat these days...As long as the politicians keep representing their party vs. representing their constituents, THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WILL BE THE LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  75. Janne from NC

    With the right President, someone who actually has leadership skills and the ability to lead it makes a great difference. With a wet noodle like Obama none at all. To lead means by definition to be in charge. I can’t find anywhere in the dictionary where the definition is to capitulate to Reid & Pelosi on all important decisions and then spend the rest of the time whining and complaining about the opposition.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  76. Mike - Vancouver BC

    Whichever Republican wins, they'll simply blame the poor economy on the previous administration as Barrack blamed George.

    Meet the new boos same as the old boss.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  77. Jake

    it does matter. and it does matter that the President is NOT a Republican!

    November 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  78. Jim N, Denver

    People seem to forget that this country and its constitution were built on compromise. Now politicians need to "stick to their principles" and not seek middle ground or they are threatened with the loss of their seat in Congress. In short, politcal parties, particularly the Republicans, have been hijacked by extreme factions. Consequently, it does not matter who is elected president.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  79. Paul Dean

    From Canton, MA
    The President, no matter who, has always been the one to take the blame for everthing wrong with the country even when it is clearly Congress that has caused the problems. Until the blamers take a refresher course in how the US government works (or suppose to work), the unlucky person in the White House at the time of trouble will always get blamed.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  80. Tony from Southport

    Seriously? Would you have asked this question during the Bush years?

    November 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  81. Nicholas, Orlando, FL

    It matters incredibly who the President is. Even if he or she struggles with unifying the domestic agenda the President still serves as an international figurehead representing the legitimacy of the American government to the world abroad.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  82. Ben

    No it does not matter because whoever does win will have the corporate interests at heart not the people.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  83. Donaldo in ATL

    Does a ship need a captain? Does a train need an engineer? Does a football team need a coach?? Think about how many ships or trains were involved in a disaster almost always caused by human failure, or why do so many football teams just not cut it?? Leadership is one of the most critical jobs of mankind, we best demand only the most experienced and effective President to lead us thru the minefield we find ourselves in now. The past 2 Chief Execs are examples of "not cutting it".

    November 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  84. Jack Be Humble

    I believe the outcome of the Presidential election is important because we may see a replacement of one or two Supreme Court justices before 2016.

    But I believe the outcome of the congressional elections will have a much greater impact. Do we want to hand the House back to the Democrats, or the Senate over to the Republicans?

    November 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  85. Jk from Minnesota

    After watching the Bush Administration in action with a Republican Congress, it does matter what character of the President is made of and who is elected. Sadly, the Congress is supposed to legislate and work for the good of America and not the corporate and religious interests. If the same cast of nuts that were sent there in 2010 especially are returned to office God help us all – there had better be a President from the opposing party elected – or we'll all take a giant step backward instead of moving forward. I hate to think what would happen to individual rights.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  86. SD

    It doesn't matter who the President is and will be. Congress members run the country and their best interest is not the citizens of this country. Money and power has consumed this country. If its not profitable then its not considered. Until we get some fresh young minds with a serious plan on making this country what it was meant to be, things will never change.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  87. guy from NM

    nope. they are in the pockets of corporation

    November 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  88. lauradet

    It is of great importance that America is represented by a person of character, education, and diplomacy. So far only one Republican candidate shows that potential and that's Hunstman. Cafferty, how would you like it if your wife went to a banquet dinner to accept an award on your behalf and she smelled like urine, her teeth were yellow, and she had holes in her shirt. Would that make you proud? I doubt it.

    How much does it really matter who the president is? It is of great importance to select the right candidate that represents America in a positive light. We want other countries on our side, it's called diplomacy. Bush showed the world what an American president could do if he/she lacked diplomacy. Remember when America was despised for over eight years or did you get a case of amnesia.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  89. Guest

    I'm not so convinced the _country_ is so deeply divided. There certainly radical elements on both sides of the political spectrum that shout more loudly than the moderates. Congress also seems to be controlled by the more radical members on both sides of the aisle. But from what I read of various polls, most of America is somewhere in the middle and is quite receptive to the compromises needed to solve many of our problems.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  90. Tim Hampton

    From Hattiesburg, Mississippi:

    Gridlock is a good thing. Most of the problems our country is currently facing is precisely because the President and Congress were all from the same party. Having a President and Congress from different parties with such competing interests and philosophies ensures that bills like Obamacare and "No Child Left Behind" never see the light of day. Government works when there's gridlock.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  91. Khan Alim, Sacramento, CA

    Jack, it does not a matter who becomes president. They are all same old same politicians. We all know Romeny is a flip-floper!!

    November 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  92. steve sprengel

    If a Republican wins the White House, you will see far more progress in passing laws, but only those that address the Republican Agenda. Democrats are, by their nature, reasonable people who usually recognize the need for compromise, and they are NOT united by the energy of hate so clearly displayed by their right wing counterparts. It's the Christians vs the Lions...and their pseudo affiliation (of convenience) with Christian America not withstanding, the Republicans are the Lions...and will always tear the flesh off the Democrats whenever given the chance.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  93. gaudeamus igitur

    Your best article ever, Jack. It matters only when considering the candidate's social class – and interests. The middle class and the poor are consumers oriented, and will pay the price; The 1%ers therefore are investors oriented and will always get to the top until enough is enough.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  94. Kelly K

    Unfortunately, the Presidential vote truly doesn't matter. Congress has sole authority over matters of economy. The surest way to break this partisan impasse is to inform ourselves about what our three reps in congress are up to. Until we cast an informed vote there, we're doomed to continue down this partisan road to nowhere.

    Sacramento, CA

    November 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  95. Joan

    I left the GOP because of the current crop of candidates. Obama, Bachmann, Perry, Romney, Paul, Cain etc. all scare me. The Tea Party scares me. The Occupy Wall Street movement scares me. I hang some where in the center between them. There are no centered candidates. Where is a constitutional champion when we need one? Do you know any?

    Joan from Pa.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  96. Brendan in Phoenix

    Jack, that kind of thinking is exactly what has caused the gridlock and hyperpartisanship in Congress. When people stop believing government can do anything to solve their problems, they stop being part of the political process. This is what gives the crazies on the left and the right so much power. If you want government to get better, don't just complain about it, do something about it.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  97. CL

    I wonder how much of this is due to the death of earmarks. Earmarks were a way to convince someone in the opposing party to join their opponents.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  98. Mike, Calgary

    Jack-

    Of course it matters- now more than ever. As Bill Clinton recently said, the income disparity in this country is unsustainable, and there's only one party looking out for the middle class.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  99. Joe Weitzell

    Does anyone still REALLY believe that we are allowed to vote for those individuals who make the decisions and set the policies which govern this country. Come on, please. In most cases we do not even know their names!

    November 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  100. Lynda

    At this point I really don't even think we need a president – why have a president nobody will let him get anything done.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  101. Wes from Wisconsin

    In my honest opinion, I do not believe it matters who is the President in the White House. I believe we will be suffering the same problems with any party in control, because the government itself is just one part of the economic problems we have in our country.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  102. Adam Philadelphia, PA

    I think it completely matters. Right now we have a president who has divided the country by identifying the Republican Party as the problem, and still blames the economic crisis on Bush. That leader is not Romney, Perry, Cain, or any of the Republican frontrunners. Jon Huntsman is the candidate for the job, as he can appeal to both parties, and could actually unite Congress because of the fact that he is the most liberal Conservative in the field. He is the type of leader we need right now, not only because of his international experience and economic policy proposals, but for the simple fact that he could unite this country and repair the divide that Obama has created because he can appeal to both parties.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  103. Donna

    It only matters that we don't have the same President! Give someone else a chance to put the country into ruin. Shame is that Congress isn't on the same ballot. Garbage in, garbage out.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  104. Yuh-hwang Tsao, Texas

    It does not matter because the system is controlled by the 1%. As long as elections are determined by money, namly the 1%, it does not matter who gets elected. That's why the income of 1% has been increasing over the last 30 years, no matter which party is in power.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  105. Marc

    I actually agree with you here. Right now, while I (for the most part) approve of the things that the current administration is trying to do, it really wouldn't matter if McCain was president or Romney becomes president, because Congress is completely unable to function, and thus nothing can happen. The real thing that matters right now is the composition of Congress, and the reality is that I will not vote (and nobody should vote) for anyone who takes a strong ideological stand, from either side of the isle, because they have proven themselves unable to govern.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  106. Emperor Vadik, CA

    Sure it matters who is the President, especially on the foreign policy front. When you have a man who's never been out of Texas and thinks Cowboys are cool, then you get a disastrous foreign policy.

    When you get an educated open mined President like Obama, foreign policy is awesome.

    Now, the domestic policy is another deal, President can influence and put pressure on people, but Congress is the one who makes domestic policy and law. And with Congress being half Republican, no wonder we are in a such a mess.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  107. High Way

    Does it really matter who the president is? No, unless you want to become president Mr.Cafferty. President Cafferty, sure has a nice ring to it.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  108. Paul

    For the bottom 99%, it does not mater. But for top 1% it matters. So no matter what 99% thinks, there will be a puppet.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  109. James George

    Yes, it matters. We voters have our backs to the wall. We want a leader to represent us and to address the problem and needs. We will back the winner and force Congress to act, even if we must occupy government to do it.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  110. Gary H. Boyd

    You're right about the nation being divided Jack. Never more so during my lifetime and I'm 75. But, one thing is sure, Barack Hussein Obama IS NOT a leader. He is an opportunistic politician that has to go. Whoever succeeds him could never be as divisive as he has proven to be. Whether Democrat or Republican, the next President has to be a leader.

    Gary in Scottsdale, AZ

    November 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  111. Warren B. in C.B.

    You have three powers in the U.S.A.: The Supreme Court,Congress,and Corporations through lobbyists and donations.
    Read the constitution. The President is just a two term,at most,figurehead.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  112. Kris Jackson

    It makes a tremendous difference. Reagan's and the Bushes' right-wing judges and justices will be with us for decades, with their reactionary rulings. It was Dubya's idea to cut taxes for the rich, ignore al Qaida, attack Iraq and all the other moronic things he pushed through. Listen to the Republican troglodytes to see how they hope to ruin the country. Spare me. You'll be telling people not to vote next.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  113. Bill , Long Island

    It hasn't mattered who is President since John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Since then there has been a steady increase in the warfare/welfare state regardless of who was in charge. Republicans and Democrats are neither in conflict nor compromise. They are in collusion.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  114. Tod

    Until we get term limits in congress, it wont matter who the president is. Our elected leaders, by and large, arent serving "for the people". They serve themselves and their families by being able to stay in office indefinitely as career politicians. If they really were doing it for us, they would impose their own term limits and vacate office. This would prevent special interest groups and big business from owning our elected leaders. Imagine sound decisions being made without fear of not being re-elected?!?

    November 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  115. John (jayare) Richard

    People forget that the president does not control the purse strings; it's up to our lawmakers to decide what to cut and what to spend. With the country divided as deeply as it is, the office of the president has no real power to effect change. The clowns jockeying for position to replace the president will find, if elected, that they would be just as powerless. Americans need to wake up to the fact that the country is bankrupt. Until and unless we understand and act accordingly, it doesn't matter who's in the Oval Office.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  116. Irish Rebel in Maine

    This reminds me more of a Roman Chariot Race where the winner is the only chariot still upright and moving. But it will be all for naught for whoever survives the race wins a trip to the gladiatorial arena where compromise is not acceptable behavior. Congress and the President should realize that teamwork and compromise are what made us "great" and the lack of it will lead to our fall. If they continue "gladiatorial politics" we will have the Roman fall.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  117. Burbank from CA

    I think it won't matter who is president until we get rid of the party system altogether. It's outlived it's usefulness and now is just another failed system full of wing-nuts on both sides. More and more people are disgusted and leaving the party system on their own to become independent voters and I hope it's a trend that will continue.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  118. Nikki

    Of course the President matters – at least one of the Turkeys pardoned from being Thanksgiving dinner thinks so.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  119. Steve

    The only way it would matter who is elected President. if it would be someone like Ron Paul..

    Unlike the rest o fthe political-big business hacks, he is honest and forthright.. not kissing "special interests" , he is truly for the people.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  120. Greg in MN

    It certainly matters, for court nominations if nothing else!!

    November 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  121. Dylan

    To have a new president, who was only voted nominee because he hasn't screwed up yet, would show how much we suck as a nation. Keep Obama, he's trying to get things done, don't ruin the momentum with a lame new guy.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  122. Bill Mattfeld

    It does matter who the President is. While there is a misconception that the President can control the economy and direct events overseas, the President's job is to provide direction for the country. When the President stands up and says they want to fix Social Security or overhaul Health Care, then that's what the next couple of months is going to be about, whether we like it or not. So we do need someone to give us that direction and is savvy enough to get their program through Congress.

    Unfortunately, we focus too much on where a candidate stands on an issue, and not on what kind of leader they will be. In the last 11 years, we've had a conservative and a moderate liberal in the White House and neither was particularly effective. Therefore, ideology is not what's holding us back. It's leadership style.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  123. Bob in Pa

    The President’s authority and scope of use for executive orders has increasingly been abused by several of the past Presidents. Congresses reluctance to call them on its use makes it very important.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  124. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    So long as the wealthy/corporations control what happens in Washington, D.C., it won't matter who the President is. It's time to ban lobbying/Super Pacs, and give control back to the 99%.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  125. Wilson James

    Leadership matters. When Bush was President, our enemies saw opportunities to strike, businesses the opportunity to move jobs overseas and the rich opportunities to milk the country. Our standing has never been so low, and Obama is paying for the sins of W. Now we are ignorant of our short term history and divided as never before. Maybe the office matters more no than ever.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  126. Terri Merz

    It matters a good deal – even with a divided Congress if the President defines his direction well, communicates his position well and rallies the public behind that direction, shows he is reasonable about compromise, but not to the point of being a push over, even people like Cantor would have to take him seriously.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  127. chatmandu002

    Jack, you forget how much Obama is ruling by edict. The president has many powers that extend beyond the control of congress. The president appoints people to position that control how are agencies work and enforce our laws. So yes, it does matter who the president is. The president leads, which is sorely missing from Obama.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  128. Dan in Albuquerque

    Of course it does, Jack. The president has some powers to act alone in the face of total obstructionism. Obama is accomplishing some good, acting on his own. He also has the bully pulpit to fight against total domination of our political process by regressive right-wingers. Fortunately, polls show most Americans are still sane and believe in compomise as the way to recovery. I suspect 2012 election day will see the sane voters taking over.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  129. Robert

    Just an observation, Jack. Most of the responses center around the inability of both houses of congress to compromise. The Congress, seems, however, to be an exact reflection of the electorate. Look at the polarizing comments on this listing....sounds like a bunch of politicians to me, and it's coming from both sides. If people don't like congressmen and senators bickering, maybe they should stop bickering themselves. I myself do think it matters. The President sets the tone, which is one of the reason I think that President Obama is not doing a very good job. He says he wants people to work together, but then he turns around and insults the Republicans to get a laugh or set an agenda. A President who can truly rise above it all and not make snide little comments about either party would be a refreshing thing.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  130. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    Sure it matters. Do Americans want a future for all or just the privileged.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  131. Meki60

    It certainly does, Obama is fostering class warfare, he needs to get out so Cain can takeover.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  132. Mary Steele

    If we don't get a president in there with the mindset of following the laws and Constitution, our country will not be able to come out of the mess it is in! You don't let 8 million illegals take jobs and resources that are despately needed by 14-22 million legal immigrants and citizens!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  133. gunny

    It doesnt matter who is president. They all lie and steel. Take from the poor and give to the rich, as always. The president's hands are tied because the republicans dont want him to do anything, so they can say see. The president has failed. We need term limits for the senate and congress. Get rid of these people and get some fresh minds, younger. The president is only powerful if the senate is willing to work with him, so it doesnt matter.
    We had 8 years of Bush who was given a blank check. How come the GOP didnt complain then. Its all a scam.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  134. Steve from Canada

    Unless it's an independent, I don't think it really does matter. A Republican Congress won't support a Democratic White House and vice versa, simply because of politics and the fact that Washington is always in election mode. Always. I'd like to see a self-proclaimed one term, independent President. That way there would be less reason to oppose him or her just for the sake of scoring political points. I truly believe that's the only way some of the tough issues can get dealt with.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  135. TJ Jackson

    It is ironic... the POTUS is the head cheerleader and is responsible for the football. With limits on how long prior to an election campaigning and fund raising can occur it may be possible for our nationally elected body to effectuate power beyond the destruction of earth.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  136. Brian Smith

    It makes an immense difference who the president is Jack. If your president is any one of the candidates, who all have an IQ under 30, then they can drastically screw up the entire world with their presidential orders and lack of intelligent ideas. Maybe we should have a simple IQ test and not vote at all – whoever is 'smartest' gets the job.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  137. Ken in Maryland

    Quite a bit, Jack. If the Republicans in Congress continue to bully the weak-spined Democrats into passing bills that favor the rich and kill the economy, the only possible blockade we have against them becoming law is the White House. While Obama seems willing to sign a lot of Republican bills, there's always hope he'll veto the worst ones. A Republican President will happily sign them.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  138. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I see a trend here. The constitution does not matter and therefore whoever is president cannot matter. This is the beginning of anti-matter!..and if you have read sci-fi or watched a couple of hundred hours of TV a week, Ureka! this is bad pizza on the way to your neighborhood. Just saying....

    November 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  139. Bob

    It is more or less irrelevant as the mainstream dems and repubs aiming for the ticket are all controled by the same interests to greater or lesser ( but not insignificant ) degrees. Their actions or inactions speak more profoundly than any words they pour out to quiet/mislead the public in regards their true masters. Perhaps an exception may be found in Ron Paul, but that very fact ensures he will not get elected. As for president Obama, he proved to be hopelessy reactive as opposed to proactive and thus was rolled up/folded to the system. So much for democracy – the people elect those already owned.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  140. Renee Marie Jones

    It certainly does not matter if it is Romney or Obama. Obama just rolls over and give the Tea Party clan whatever they want in the end anyway. The real problem is that, around the time of Gingrich, the Republicans decided that compromise was a dirty word and everything was either their way, or the whole country be damned. It worked. We are damned.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  141. Dustin Klavon

    No, it does not matter who becomes President, and basically for the reasons you have stated already. It's refreshing to see a member of a large network like you acknowledge this. The problem in our nation is that politicians are no longer working to forward the livelihood of the American people- instead, their political decisions focus on furthering their careers, special interest groups' interests, and party goals.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  142. Jon in Rochester

    At this point, I don't see anybody that can bring this country together and turn it around. The two party system doesn't work anymore because both parties are more concerned with getting elected than working together for the common good. Republicans made making Obama a one term president their priority. It's a vicious cycle. If a Republican gets the presidency and the Democrats make it their first priority to make that person a one term president then we'll be no better off. Money and power are the root of all evil and it has corrupted our political system. Politicians spend more time raising money than governing. Rich corporations have bought and paid for most of them. What is good for the common man is no longer a concern because money speaks louder than words.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  143. Rick Thomas

    It doesn't matter at all. For one thing the president doesn't have much more power than the Queen of England. The second thing is that we haven't had a REAL two party system in more than 40 years. They are all Republicrates! All this bipartisan fighting is smoke and mirrors to keep the fools they rule over (us) thinking that we have a real say in what happens in Washington. In reality everything is decided in their secret groups like the trilateral commission. Which all members of both parties belong to.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  144. California Gary

    If you want to know how much it matters who is in the White House, just refer back to the years 2001-2009. Do you think things would have gone the same way if we had a President Gore during that time?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  145. Dustin Klavon of Livonia, MI

    No, it does not matter who becomes President, and basically for the reasons you have stated already. It's refreshing to see a member of a large network like you acknowledge this. The problem in our nation is that politicians are no longer working to forward the livelihood of the American people- instead, their political decisions focus on furthering their careers, special interest groups' interests, and party goals.– Dustin Klavon, Livonia MI

    November 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  146. Larry in Houston

    Jack – After reading Your 2nd – 3rd – & 4th paragraph – comparing this political theatre – to NASCAR – I laughed so hard – I almost fell off my chair – But – Bottom Line, You're right, it will be gridlock – and the deficit & debt will still soar, no matter who's IN office.

    But – I'm sure that the "Newt" will say that HE is the "Profound" one, that will make the "Fundamental" Difference for America !!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  147. anonymous

    I think that if we got some one in there that they like and the people like this country has an awesome chance of turning things around for the better. It has to be someone who has proven himself already. One of my picks would be Rudy Giuliani if he would decide to run and come to our aid.. He was mayor of New York City and got us through 9/11 by sticking with us through thick and thin that awful day. He also has the smarts and common sense to lead us.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  148. Michael

    Of course it does, Jack. I am certain we would not have gone into Iraq if Al Gore were president. He probably would have kept the economics of the Clinton administration. I am certain that we would be much better off today.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  149. danel

    I for one had enough with our current congress. Why not start from a clean slate? Fresh face, ideas and idiology? Eliminate long campaings to three months. No more money man controlling policies. No more campign donations big and small. Candidates should fund their own campaign.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  150. paul rogers

    what matters most jack is the supreme court. if the republicans get in, the court will turn more radical than it is now.
    we do not need anymore right wing crazies on the court

    November 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  151. RR

    The President matters because he is expected to set the vision and tone of getting America to a better place. The Presidential candidate who can articulate an honest assessment of where we are at, where we are going and how we will get there is the person I want to hear from. So far this far right superficial sparring is getting us nowhere in terms of real solutions (ie. 9-9-9 plan) Unfortunately, we would have the same thing happening with the far left if we had to endure a Democratic primary also. We need an holistic and achievable approach to saving America from itself. Please candidates (including President Obama) have the heart, mind and soul to provide a better path for a better America.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  152. c s

    Probably the most important decision that the President will make is who will be selected to the Supreme Court. That decision will shape the country for the next 30 or 40 years. President Bush selected a relatively young man to be the Chief Justice and that will influence the course of government till he dies. The Supreme Court is divided 5/4 on many decisions and that could change depending upon who is President.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  153. Tony

    You're only asking this question because of who is in the white house, right? Maybe its the man and not the title that makes the process work.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  154. Mike C in Birmingham

    Every time the Rs have held the trifecta since Reagan the debt has skyrocketed. The last time the Ds had the trifecta, they still couldn't get bills bast the minority party. Rs have no heart, Ds have no spine. So if anything, the president matters simply to be a roadblock to congressional extremism. What I think this nation really needs is media that is not hyperpartisan. Analysts who point out the merits of moderation and compromise. Then the populace will be more willing to listen and support their representatives who manage to get partial victories.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  155. Mark

    A President who bites off only what he can chew, who bothers to build consensus, who leads, who follows through, who does more than make nice speeches, who has some actual experience running something, who is willing to stand behind his proposals, who works with Congress, absolutely can make a difference.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  156. GoofyGOP

    Does it matter who the president is ? Nope it does not. But, we will continue to pretend it does so that we'll give ourselves a false sense of hope for the next election; voting matters, our vote matters, we determine the direction and destiny of our country....

    November 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  157. Abram - TX

    Yes, it matters a great deal. America, and the world for that matter, needs true leaders who put country and mankind before him/herself. A leader who does not think the most powerful position in the world is for making speeches and wavng to the peasants as he drives by in his million dollar bus. We need someone who will unite not divide. Obama had his chance and blew it. NEXT!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  158. Ronald

    Yes Jack, when the GOP/Tea Party are in control we will end up worse than we are now. After all, they got us into this mess that we have been trying to crawl out of and all they can do is refuse to do anything and recommend the same policies that put us here.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  159. Darryl

    The last time I check Jimmy Carter had a tough first half because he wanted a very left agenda. Then he learned and moved to the middle and got things done. Any president will do as long as they are in the middle and can work with both sides. After all .... the vast majority of US citizens are politically in the middle. It's just hard to get voted into office when you don't have the way right or way left nuts in your corner.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  160. Larry C. Wilson

    Unless he rules by Executive Order, a Presiident needs the support of Congress

    November 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  161. John from Illinois

    The president is a puppet. American is a country of stagnation. Our jobs have been farmed overseas, our economy is in the crapper, and we are owned by China. We are beyond the point of return, and no one man or woman is going to make a difference in the cesspool called Washington.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  162. government cheese

    It matters if you care for America's future. We have never been more divided than we are today. Leadership is a top down trait that we are lacking in the current political climate.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  163. Jim. Simi Valley, Ca

    Does to me. Vote out all Republicans and blue nose Democrates and take this country back from those who honor only party idealism over concern for the country and it's people.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  164. Dev in Minneapolis.

    It does not matter if, like Obama, they have no leadership skills. D.C. shoud be turned into the museum that it has become.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  165. stoptheh8te

    I used to think so, but I'm beginning to have my doubts. No President would have faired any better than Pres Obama given the mess he was handed. It takes time for change, but for some reason that only counts for some elected officials and not the current administration. It's funny how the Repubs continue to go back to Pres Reagan when trying to make a point. What about Bush 1 & 2. Were they totally ineffective during their 12 years in the Oval Office. Apparently so since current Republicans never mention the advances in the economy or anything positive during their reign. No party has a monopoly on being able to make us a better nation, but this current crop of candidates really show the rest of us and other nations how devisive they can be.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  166. Eli

    No it does not matter. Even if it did, today's policies whether democratic's or republican's are no longer relevant; no longer capable of solving today's economic problems.

    Elizabeth Muwonge
    Kingston, Ontario

    November 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  167. Cy Gardner

    You think it doesn't matter if a serial adulterer like Newt Gingrich or a flip flopper like Mitt Romeny represents the best we can do for the leader of the United States of America? Do you think the world will respect America with another Know Nothing cowboy from Texas as the "leader of the free world"? Do you think the rest of the "free world" wants to follow a clown from the pizzeria like Herman Cain? Nein! Nein! Nein! cy from arlington, va

    November 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  168. Barb - Berea, Ohio

    I am 60 years old and have been a registered voter since turning 21. It has become harder and harder to vote no matter what level of government with all the lies and innuendo that are thrown about during campaigns. I have gotten to the point where I do not believe anyone any more.
    Sad to say, but I do not feel it matters who the president is or who is in Congress, Senate, Governor, Mayor all the way down to the lowest level of government. This is the ME generation at it's worst.
    Between partisan politics (I refuse to belong to any party) and money speaking louder than anything, this country is self-destructing in front of all our eyes. If our so-called leaders don't stop thinking about themselves and their cronies first, we will no longer have a country. Just 50 divided, bankrupt states populated by out of work people who cannot afford housing or medical attention.

    Barb – Berea, Ohio

    November 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  169. Carl Shepard

    Of course. The executive branch is 1/3 of the power of government. There is still a lot that can get done without congress. Furthermore, if someone else wins, it means Obama and congress cannot be together enough to pass more business restrictions.

    The debt crisis was LACK OF ENFORCMENT, and the FEDERAL RESERVE not restricting credit when things got out of hand. The regulations are KILLING business, and thus killing jobs.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  170. Loki Mythos

    It doesn’t matter who is president or who is in congress if they are all bought and paid for by Big Corp, Big Bank, Big Pharma, Big insurance. Until the controlling money can be separated from government it will remain a puppet government. Cut the puppet strings and perhaps our government can function again.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  171. Rick in California

    Would matter a lot Jack if the Republicans would do their job. It's no secret in America who the problem is. They want to turn the US into a banana republic. President is worthless if the other two cogs of the wheel stop.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  172. Terry Wells -Hoosier Hillbilly-IN

    Think NASCAR (now your talk'n Jack) With the start of the primaries a few months away, the Republican race for president is on.

    Here's the deal: Once Republicans started their engines, Rick Perry (Robbie Gordon) jumped out front and then promptly crashed going into the first turn. Michele Bachmann's car (Richard Petty) wouldn't start. Herman Cain Curt Bush)( blew a tire just as he grabbed the lead ... and now he says he's remembering why. Sure.

    As for some of the others – such as Newt Gingrich ( Mark Martin and Ron Paul ( Dale Ernhart) – they're in the back of the pack fighting for position. They’re long shots at best at this point.

    All of which leaves Mitt Romney ( Jimmy Johnson in the lead. After news of the harassment allegations against Cain ( violeted rules-2 lap penality), Romney ( Jimmy) becomes the prohibitive favorite to take the checkered flag, win the nomination and take on President Barack Obama next November. That’s at least for now.
    = No! Wrong...Nick (Jimmy) crashes early in the next to final race and looses all chances of winning the nomination for Preident ( the Sprint Cup)

    Romney ( Johnson is the same guy the Republicans wanted no part of in 2008 when John McCain (Dale Senior) was the GOP nominee.
    So it's left to Carl Edwards or Jeff Gordon? Maybe!!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  173. Grant, Chicago

    No, it does not matter who the president. What you're getting with a president these days is a set of vaules. That's it, his policies only matter if those in congress agree with those policies. Even if the majority agrees, our system is set up so that the majority looks like the bad guy anytime something is passed. It's a joke of a system, no wonder the founders thought 2 parties was a bad idea.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  174. Bob Shmob - Philly, PA

    Considering how bad Obama is doing, I'd say VERY important

    November 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  175. Derek

    It probably won't make much difference at all, Jack. This country is falling apart at the seams, and unless we get the money and corporate control out of the political scene, we're just going to collapse into anarchy at some point.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  176. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    Along about lap 117 someone will rub someone else's tire and bounce off a wall into a score of other speeding left-turners with catastrophic results (sound familiar?). It doesn't matter at all who is left to pick up the pieces. By then the electorate will be awake enough to speak. And that is what it is going to take – not campaign rhetoric.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  177. Howard in Alexandria

    It matters ... and it will always matter. Every President gets the chance for at least one defining moment, and often many more than one. How that person handles those moments is a reflection of his or her character and political philosophy. The best example is the power to select Supreme Court justices, who usually sit on that bench long after the President who nominated them is gone from the political landscape.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  178. Pete Veslocki

    It matters.
    Who would you prefer as President:
    A patriot or a subversive?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  179. Dave in Texas

    Jack, yes it matters who is President and the current President is a good example of what happens when voters elect the wrong candidate. Obama's ideology forces him to tax and spend, even in the face of severe economic problems. America can't afford another Obama, or another four years of Obama. We are in trouble and Obama's focus is making it worse.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  180. MA

    Of course it matters! If we don't send Obama his pink slip, then Obamacare will send our drowning economy right into the drain when more of its rules kick into place. This was a huge issue for Mass voters who elected Scott Brown in 2010...even here, in a state that is the deepest blue, Obamacare was too much.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  181. Chirag Patel

    Jack, like some Russian said few years back, that America will break up like Russia did and I would love to see all the poor southern republican states break off from the union and try running a country. Make Texas their capital and Rick perry their President. Republicans in the south should really think hard, that all this years they are voting republican and still the poorest states in whole America. What have their representatives done for them lately?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  182. Johnny

    If, God forbid, our nation would be attacked, who would you prefer as president? Obama or Bachmann?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  183. Mark in Tulsa, OK

    Never in our lifetimes has Congress been more polarized than it is now. The obvious answer is, yes, it does matter who the president is, but as other readers have pointed out, it is critically important who occupies the seats in the Congress and Senate. In our current political climate, voters have given more sway to fringe candidates on both sides of the aisle by voting straight party when in fact the more informed choice has always been to vote for the person and NOT the party affiliation. Unless more moderates from the two major parties get elected, we are in for more deadlock I'm afraid.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  184. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    It matters greatly. If Republicans win the presidency and the Senate and keep the House, this country will go back at least 100 years.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  185. Jason

    Jim, it doesn't matter as often times, less than half of the country approves of the president's performance. If the norm was that an executive had 3/4 approval, there might be a point.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  186. cbake/California

    Yes it matters. We don't get a Holder, Nepolitano, Sebelius , Solis, Duncan, Susstein, Van Jones, Liu with the right President. We also don't get a Richard Trumpka living in the White House.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  187. Pete/Ark

    What matters right now is who the President ISN'T.Jack do you REALLY think that some of those yahoos,whackos, and self-promoting profiteers couldn't make the current chaos a disaster ?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  188. Joshua Ludd

    Compare our country under Clinton to our country under Bush.. either Bush... or Reagan. Yes, it very obviously matters. Don't want a deficit? Want a functional economy? Don't want needless wars on the other side of the world? Vote Democrat.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  189. Stanford Ponzi victim

    It matters when the presidential candidate is the recipient of funds stolen from innocent investors in a Ponzi scheme. As reported today, Mitt is the beneficiary of funds obtained from thousands of innocent investors by several of his and his son's business partners. So he's not so squeaky clean, after all!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  190. Greg - New York, NY

    The political disfunction in Washington proves that the system is failing and in need of repair. The general public is fed up with both Republicans and Democrats alike. The attitude is : Vote every one of them out, both sides. Let's start over. Until we can correct the problems with how money & lobbyists have screwed up our government, our tax code, our health care & education systems, we are doomed to pander to Politicians basically campaiging full time, every day, for their entire elected term. That's not what America is all about, and The Occupy Protests tell me I'm not alone....so to answer the question: No it does not really matter.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  191. Linda in Arizona

    "Unless Republicans win the Senate and retain control of the House of Representatives, Romney won't be able to get any more done than Obama has been able to do."

    That's not true, and it's a false equivalency. No Democrat has ever said his mission was to make a republican president a one-term president. No Democrat would go after Romney and block everything he proposes just because they hate him. That is what happened to Obama, and it's because republicans always put politics over country. There are a few Democrats who don't do that, but mostly, they're just not as vicious and partisan as republicans. I wish they were, I truly do, but they're wimps.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  192. Tim from Toledo

    It makes no difference at all.
    The "us versus them" mentality of the two parties has completely overwhelmed any notion of sanity in our government. Logic and reason have long since been replaced by petty spin doctors that speak badly of the opposition and vote the party line no matter what the consequences. It makes no difference if it is a Republican, Democrat, or circus clown...the results will be the same as long as the current culture in Washington remains unchanged......

    November 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  193. Pepper Jack

    No, Mr. Cafferty, it does not. Sadly and tragically, Congress is the real entity that continues to run this country (into the ground). Is an autocratic system, in which one person makes laws and goes unchecked, really the answer? No. But I think it's time we truly examined how we choose to govern ourselves. The Founding Fathers designed the Constitution to be amendable for a reason.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  194. QS in Seattle

    Jack, I've been saying just this since the midterms – even when Obama is re-elected it won't matter unless we can take back the House and keep control, or gain numbers in the Senate.

    So in that regard, I agree with you, it won't really matter who the President is. But having said that, I'd still rather have Obama as my President than Romney, let alone any of the other also-rans. I'm an Atheist so the religion thing is a non-starter since there will probably be no Atheist candidate running in my lifetime, sadly.

    I just think Romney, not to mention all the other candidates, are so out of touch with anything resembling reality at this point that they honestly believe the things they're saying in the primaries to clinch the nomination, when they know full well 95% of what they say in the primaries will only hurt them in the general!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  195. kathy from peoria az

    Not anymore it seems! Congress is running the country, not the President. Unless we all find common ground, this country will never move forward. Compromise seems to be a dirty word with the Republicans.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  196. Juan

    Good question, Jack. That has been my thought since the 2008 election. We are so divided right now that no matter who becomes president, it will just tick off the other half of the country. I think we would have the same issues if McCain was president. The screaming would just be coming from the other side.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  197. Mike M (West Hollywood, CA)

    It all comes down to Congress. A President's desire to work with the other side is meaningless when you have Congress with entrenched positions. If the President reaches out to the other side, he will get shut down by his own party in Congress. The filibuster is the single most powerful force in Washington, next to unchecked campaign donations.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  198. Terry from Johnson City TN

    It most certainly does matter. Leadership and integrity are all the president can bring to the table, since most initiatives will be killed and eaten by Congress. If Congress was a football team they'd all be tackling each other and lose track of the ball, and the coach-president.would be on the sidelines making a lot of noise but accomplishing little.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  199. Luis Rosales

    Frankly it doesn't matter who wins in 2012 presidential race. Ofcourse it also means our nation will continue to decline. Economy and job issue will be worse. No near seriuos talks of a recovery plan. Hopefully 2016 election will be important, if not, I hate to see the status of our nation. Luis Rosales. Pomona CA

    November 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  200. AB

    Jack, it matters who is president of US in 2012 and I hope it is not Romney or any other Republican. The Tea Party controls the Republican Party and is causing division and chaos within the party by casting out moderates. The Tea Party is divisive for the Republican Party and ultimately for the country. Obama should remain president. He has been trying to unite the country and is still trying. In fact, Obama has been reaching across the isles to work with the Republicans and his overtures have been rebuffed by conservatives. Among the Republican candidates, not one person is willing to work with Obama and unite the country.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  201. Bill

    It could make a huge difference to the Supreme Court. With the current very split court, even one appointment by the next President could drastically change it.
    Bill, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

    November 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  202. Ric

    Uhh.....Is your question for real? Have you really forgotten the impact a president has on federal appointee positions and the impact those choices have for years to follow? What a lame question.

    Ric
    Santa Maria , Ca

    November 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  203. Mark Zimmerman in New Jersey

    Of course it matter's who's President! Would you want an 8 year old to run this country???

    November 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  204. Dennis north carolina

    with the confedercy in charge of the house, it does make a different on who is president. we do not need a republican!!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  205. Jibran Durrani

    We incessantly complain about the government, while there is little that we do about it. We are entrenched in our traditional voting lines. The majority of us vote either Republican or Democrat, no matter what the individual candidate represents. We can't keep blaming the government for the financial situation. We'll be in this quagmire till we realize that the government is not solely responsible for the present economic climate, instead, we are all responsible as well. The economy can't be fixed by a Republican or a Democrat, or an Independent, it can only be fixed by changing how we go about voting to select our leaders.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  206. Darshan

    No. Obama is trying hard but not accomplishing anything. Until the republicans learn to compromise, we are all going to suffer. Why do need a vote of no confidence in congress and get rid of everyone.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  207. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Obama must go. One of Americas most likeable Presidents ignored the wishes of the People. His economics plan was as poorly executed as it was flawed. It's the economy stupid rings true today and it looks like Romney may win in the 2012 default race. Not Obama and least like Bush. What we need is another Teddy Roosevelt. Remember him, he's on Rushmore for good reason. I'm focused on looking forward to 2016

    November 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  208. Ed

    It matters a lot. Consider what would have happened if Al Gore had been President instead of George Bush. It matters a lot.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  209. Jonathan

    Not really. When it comes down to it, unless we get both a president and a congress that are dedicated to changing this broken and corrupt system, then nothing is going to change, nothing is going to improve. We'll have corrupt, greedy politicians in bed with corrupt, greedy corporations, and the American people will continue to suffer.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  210. Ben

    It should matter. However, the fundamental problem is that neither political party is in tune with what the American public actually want. Both parties seem to have their interests focused areas that don't concern the average voter. Whether they are focused on the rich like the republicans or special interest groups like the democrats, they are both out of touch.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  211. Darshan

    No. Obama is trying hard but not accomplishing anything. Until the republicans learn to compromise, we are all going to suffer. We need a vote of no confidence in congress and get rid of everyone.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  212. Gigi Oregon

    Sadly...it really doesn't matter if we let the Republican party bully their way into the White House. I'd like to blame it all on President Bush but the reality is, that it began with Nixon. We have gone from government corruption to include corporate greed and the death of the American dream. The media has also played a large part in this heart break for "We the people".

    We once a proud nation through self sacrifice, hard work, joint cooperation and integrity. I can't remember when we went from "to die rich was shame" to "the one with the most toys wins". My parents and grandparents worked hard through the great depression, a world war, and build an American Dream for their children and grandchildren. I will be leaving a debt from a war in the wrong country because of greed from a president that didn't know what he was doing. And a people who have chosen to live by the sword rather than faith and doing good.

    I have seen more peace and help for the American people, through President Obama than anyone since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Yes Jack, It does matter who "we the people" choose for President..

    November 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  213. Kent - Iowa City, Iowa

    It doesn't really matter. No matter which Republican gets the nomination our next election will be the weak vs. the meek. Obama hasn't been forceful enough to get anything done with Congress and none of the Republican candidates have what it takes to run a country. The American people are in for a long 4 years either way.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  214. John

    When the current president is taken into consideration, it matters a whole lot. Could this president have done much more damage to every entity of this country then he has?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  215. Ann from Charleston SC

    I think it matters who is president. As much as I like about President Obama, I am disappointed that he hasn't slapped some of those Congressmen to the ground (figuratively, of course). He is too nice. I can't see Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton putting up with the nonsense that Congress has been pulling in the last three years.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  216. chris

    not when Obama's hope and change has turned into more politics as usual. the corruption in this administration is alarming. especially when it received a free pass from the liberal media.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  217. Lou

    It's very important to keep President Obama in Office for the middle class to have a chance to survive. Because, it's clear that the REPUBLICANS side with the wealthy one percent.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  218. steve berg

    My guess is that if you really thought it truly did not matter, you wouldn't still be here Jack. So, do you have untold travel plans?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  219. Jay Pelroy

    Mr Jack,

    Best question i've seen on this show all year! The answer is no, 90% of this congress will be re-elected because everybody likes their guy and hates the guy across street. How all about those senators telling the super commitee how to do their job, when the commitee was created because they couldn't do theirs.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  220. curtis in philadelphia

    Great question Jack, but you're asking the wrong people; congress has proven they don't really care about the average American, so you may want to ask corporate America, after all, they're people too.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  221. Ed

    It doesn't matter. abolish this congress, dissolve the union and start all over again

    November 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  222. Dan H.K. from NJ

    Dear Jack,
    As a student of history, I like your comparison to the Civil War. It's true. Never since then has the country been so divided. The presidents before and after Lincoln had little impact on the conflict; if anything they made it worse. The country searched for a moderate in Buchanan (president before Lincoln), but failed to find one. Only a figure so passionately and adamantly on one side as Lincoln could make any progress on the issue, and he only could because all those who opposed him (except his vice president) left the Union! Today we need to learn from this. As much as I would like a moderate president, nothing will get done with one. America needs to choose a side and find a candidate as charasmatic as Lincoln that most of the country can feel good about getting behind. Otherwise the office is useless and the president is simply a figurehead.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  223. Paul - Philadelphia, PA

    Hi Jack,
    It really doesn't seem to matter. Day in and day out, we see candidates stand in front of the cameras and deliver their well-rehearsed sound bites. The truth is that this nation is in deep trouble, politically and economically. Instead of working together, we have partisan politicians who are only concerned with themselves and their re-election bids. Unlike many, I happen to be very optimistic. I have hope that things will turn around and that this country will slowly but surely get back on the right track. I guess we have to wait just wait and see.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  224. Justin

    With today's political climate any candidate for President is basically going to be ridiculed, smeared and extolled all in the same instance. We don't have the best lineup to choose from in the first place. I don't agree with everything he's done but I do feel President Obama has tried to do the best he can with what he was given to work with. Mitt Romney...is well....Mitt Romney and Rick Perry is in over his head I feel. If given another Democratic candidate or if Ron Paul was a legitimate front runner I'd vote for them. But I'll be voting for Obama instead because I'd rather see him as President for another 4 years than anyone else in the race.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  225. Iaver in New Jersey

    Wish i would have seen this earlier. Never-the-less, I think the question really is, 'does it really matter who the president is for there first term?' Every first term President has an eye on the prize of a second term therfore rhetoric and policy that truly speaks to who they are as a leader are refined to fit public opinion. (the media) Once a second term is locked in, they have nothing to lose and what follows are more hardline policies.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  226. Tom from Santa Monica

    It matters!!! The current President is very polarizing and divisive like no others I've seen. I had hoped that things would work out, but this term has been unbearable. Now this President has encouraged his followers to rise up and destroy what's left of our country. Class warfare and redistribution of wealth are not the change we were looking for when we elected him! It matters that we have a President who has real experience in politics and knows how to run this country by bringing everyone together and not judging the "haves" or the "have nots" or making decisions based on race. Remember, "United we stand, divided we fall."

    November 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  227. J. Smith from Idaho

    During a time when absolute ideologies are more important than the voices of the people, the job of President has largely become that of target for the "other side." The main problem is that those polarized ideologies are largely supported by people who care only about their own agendas. Those people also have the loudest voices, deepest pockets, and enduring media coverage. Since the lawmakers have ceased to truly represent real people, and selfish absolutes drive all debates, the President has become about as important and effective as the Queen of England.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  228. Mike Mead

    It doesn't matter any more who the President is. The American people have had enough of the childish squabbling and lack of decision-making in Congress and the Senate. We want the Queen to revoke our independence, and resume direct government from London.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  229. Gerard

    It's critical. To get out of this mess you need a President that people believe in. That person needs to have the utmost of integrity and character. Obama has a lot of both while the Republican candidates all appear to be lacking both. I'm not a US citizen, so I am following American politics from the outside. I really feel for the every-day American citizen.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  230. DT

    Great question Jack. I have been wondering this question for the last 10 years. The country is clearly heading in one direction and I don't think any guy except Ron Paul is even proposing that it turn completely in the other direction. Even if he wins however, he needs the support of many other people and that is not going to happen.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  231. vman

    We need to get them both out of the house and senate and start focusing on libertarians or greens , depending on personal preferences. Both libertarians and greens have a lot of common points that would help steer the country in the right direction (civil liberties, distrust of FED, sensible local policy, privacy, etc, etc) , even if there are disagreements on business regulations.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  232. frank

    Cafferty is insane... of course it matters. it is a reflection of society. the curretn POTUS is a clown, a fake, big government goes against what America is about. Obama IS NOT a leader..just a showman. A true leader was Reagan and Bush. Principles, values, honor, integrity, ...something the current POTOS has NO clue.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  233. Thomas Strich

    It is hard to explain to 99% of the population of the US that there is no immediate solution to a crisis that took so many years to create and only 1% has the knowledge to make money out of it. It is not about a Democrat or Republican President. It is a matter of joint efforts, smarter decisions and better education. The reality is that this crisis will pass and 99% of the population will forget. But 1% will be getting the right education to survive the next low point of the wave. It will happen again and again.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  234. Charles Rhymeswith

    That's because people divide themselves from others naturally. All societies yield us versus them. We have since the dawn of our social interactions. Does it matter who the President is? The American people need a puppet of the 'free' world in order to fill the role of scape-goat or hero, depending on the collective needs of the times to fulfill this gravitational dividing force. Vote, don't vote, it doesn't matter. It really doesn't. If you ignored every political related item from now until the time that you died, your life will have simply been more of what you chose it to be, rather than one where you handed over the power to influence your life to someone else.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  235. hector marroquin

    It does not matter who the President is, or who controls Congress so long as it is only a bipartisan manipulation of the interests of the majority. That is to say neither represents the interests of that majority nor were they elected -by its numbers- by the overwhelming majority. People do not trust either any more, more so since they are just passing the ball to one another unable to move it forward. the country needs a new political party: a Labor Party, one that represents the toilers. Only then can we have solutions and advance.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  236. rizzo

    Well, it will matter if someone is somehow able to enact a flat tax. That'd pretty much tank the whole nation. Do I think that will happen? No, not really. I'm still undecided, I may just write in Bernie Sanders since he's one of the only elected officials that has any sense.
    The real problem is the entrenched forces in Congress. Lobbyists have far too much power, there are officials who have been in office more than twice as long as I've been alive and it doesn't seem like anyone is looking out for the interests of anyone other than the rich. Not to mention the many ways that Congress has pretty much given up most of their power to the Executive over the last 60 years so as to ensure easy reelection based on stupid, divisive issues.
    I'm sure it's not news to you, Jack, but we're in pretty bad shape here.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  237. Dave in Cincinnati

    Given that Obama has been the "ring leader in chief" driving the partisanship I think it really could make a difference who is president. An honorable politician who puts the needs of the nation above his/her party would go a long way towards healing this country. Over the years we've had some – for example Humphrey and Nunn on the left Reagan and Gregg on the right. But the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave seems hell bent on destroying any and all efforts of the Senate and House to work together. As long as he's there I see little hope.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  238. Scot

    Of course it matters who is President ! The people of this nation will vote for the man that will show the world who we are and not the "fools on the hill" !.
    The people vote for their congressman because" they say " they will bring jobs to their community. Since alot of uninformed folks out their believe that this works they feel that their guy's party will force the president into doing just that ! As you can see from the last election that touted JOBs JOBS JOBS they have not done squat but squandered a year trying to get this president out.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  239. Henry

    Of course it matters. If President Obama wins re-election then he stands a better chance of Republicans working with him since their goal would no longer be to defeat his re-election. If a Republican wins, the Democrats would not work with him/her so he/she would not be re-elected. I think there is a stronger case to re-elect Obam than to elect a Republican to avoid another gridlock for 4 years, this time from Democrats.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  240. Ben in Missouri

    The country is more divided than it has been since the Civil war, and you ask how important it is who is elected President? Ask Abraham Lincoln. A house divided cannot stand.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  241. Karl in Flint

    With the disastrous example of the eight years of the Bush administration it matters a whole lot who the president is. Need I say more?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  242. Justin

    It really doesn't matter too much at all. The President has one thing the other branches of our government don't have...term limits. I was very surprised to find out that around 50% of the members of Congress and the Senate make over 1 million dollars a year. That puts them, you guessed it, in the top 1% of our population. If these so called "lawmakers" were actually representing the people that elected them rather than the interest lining their pocket and campaign funds we might be in better shape. We have career politicians whose sole interest is to win the next election. Of course let us not take the blame off of the other side of the issue, the American people. We have the right to vote out anyone we don't think is doing a good job. People rely on the media to tell them who to vote for. The source of the news will more than likely be biased one way or the other and that will make their decision that much easier.
    Let's us not forget the Supreme Court overturning the law that now allows corporations to donate unlimited sums of money for political campaigns. Corporations have found a way to control the people that "govern" our country. Almost any politician that has been in Washington for a while will start to be swayed by interests that have the funding to keep them there living the lavish lifestyle of a politician.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  243. Paul P.

    Jack, you nail on the head. The real issue is how do you get each side to back down off their hardline stances in order to put the country first. Its easier to cry foul at the other side and rally political support, rather than roll up your sleeves and hammer something out. What would help would be to get people like Grover Norquist and lobbyists in general out of the political scene altogether and focus on the nation's need instead. I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen though.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  244. Hansel - Nj

    Yes it does matter who the president is. We need a pres. that will continue to challenge congress to keep NOT making the right choice. Keep pushing aside the nations best interest and see how long we'll put up with it. 2008 birthed the Tea Party, 2011 has birthed the OCCUPIER's... if this trend continues and restlessness continues to build, somethings going to give.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  245. Erik Osterrieder

    It matters a lot. For just a few reasons, and despite this do-nothing Congress, the President has the veto power, judiciary appointment power where judgeships can last possibly for decades, executive order power, making war and treaty ratifying powers, etc. So, yes, who is President does matter a lot.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  246. Bob in Tulsa

    The right person could make all the difference – one way or the other. When German society was burdened with a volitile mix of social and economic issues, Adolf Hitler was able to inflame the population with a message of super patriotism and ride into power on the shoulders of a nation misled by promises of reclaimed glory through unquestioned obedience to the goals of the party leadership. Sounding familiar?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  247. Mae Brock

    It will always matter to "Big Money" and the power freaks of this country. CONTROL, is all they care about.
    The middle class and the poor wil suffer direly if the Republicans get in the Whte house. They block everything that will help this country grow. The rich are only looking out for the rich. They would rather die than give up some of their control and power. This country is on its way down and only God can help us get it together. No president can fix this mess.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  248. Martin Anderson

    No it doesn't matter who's the president because of all of the bickering going on between republicans and democrats in congress. The refusal of the republicans to work with President Obama, its like watching two people argue and fight over who's gonna their drowning family member. So while republicans and democratics refuse to work together American families are slowly drowning when all it takes is republicans and democratics working as a team in order to save American families and get the country back on track.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  249. Rob

    Wow. The fact this question has been asked shows how poorly US history has been taught in the schools.

    The POTUS has 3 main jobs. 1) Chief executive, signing legislation into law. 2) Commander in chief. 3).Chief diplomat and face of US Foreign Policy.

    While Job 1 may be difficult with a polarized populace (hence, polarized congress), Job 2 and Job 3 matter greatly.

    The character and beliefs of the POTUS have great effect on the world. (we are bowing in deference to those who would harm us, and spitting in the face of our long-time allies? Really?!?)

    November 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  250. Gail, Plano TX.

    Great question, Jack! But I think if Romney becomes Pres., even with a Democratic majority in Congress, he will be able to pass legislation? Why you ask? Because the Democrats are weak and gutless. The GOP rules now in the Senste, and they are the minority! I am a Demicest. Have never voted for a Republican. Will vote for President Obama next year. He is the most decent man to grace the WH in a long time. But alas, to no avail!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  251. Kevin G. from Falmouth on Cape Cod

    Hi Jack,

    Until the structure of government here in the United States of Cororate America changes to term limits of 12 years, Medicare & Social Security vs the current over the top Platinum benefits for all politicians and complete reform of lobbying & election financing we will not see any changes other than the current self fulfilling prophecy of the downward spiral those not in power are experiencing. The schism is widening and I'm so powerless, I'm off to a meeting to sit with friends that make sense......Kevin from Falmouth on Cape Cod

    November 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  252. JJ

    If Romney wins, it won't be as bad as it is today. This is because the Democrats, in general, do not believe in winning at any cost. They will not strive to bring down the economy and punish ordinary people just to get their way.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  253. Mike

    It matters hugely. Obama has not had an opportunity to name enough Supreme Court justices, and there likely will be some vacancies during the next 4-5 years. Get a Tea Partier in there, they'll appoint a few of their ilk, and abortion will be illegal for sure, among other things.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  254. Dee in New Paris OHIO

    It really matters very little who is President, as long as it is a rich white guy! We can see right now that if a black man (or a woman) were elected, we can just look forward to more years of nothing changing, except for the worse.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  255. George W

    The Presidency and our entire political system are both becoming bad jokes, with hard working Americans as the punchlines.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  256. Maxx

    It will be very important who is president. Should the republicans capture the house, senate, and presidency; the misery index will rise substantially for the middle and lower classes. We have seen examples of this in Ohio and Wisconsin. So yes Jack, to those of us who work very hard eveyday and live by the rules, it is important who occupies the White House!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  257. Clayton Kua

    People need a leader. No matter how divided things are in D.C. Whoever is elected better have an incredibly magnetic personality given the unbelievable polarization on the Hill.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  258. Steve Anderson

    Two words: Supreme Court. Next time you're shaking your head at a Supreme Court ruling that, for example, corporations have the same rights as a human being and can literally buy elections; next time the Supreme Court decides who the next President will be; next time there is some other nonsensical ruling by the right-wingers on the current Court, think about how much it matters who chooses candidates for the Supreme Court. Hint: it's the President.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  259. Ben

    It should matter. However, most voters feel disconnected with the federal government because neither party is interested in what the American public actually wants. The middle class is disappearing and both parties are focused on the needs of the super rich. What the American public needs is some security from its government we need jobs, national security, and accountability from our financial institutions, especially those that break the law. The president is supposed to act in as a defender of the people; this attitude from the candidates, is stranglely absent.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  260. Derek in MI

    It's the people in congress that dont agree! We the people agree that this has got to stop. It's ovbious at this point that these elected millionaires don't have anything in common with the "99%" of the country! The SYSTEM needs to me changed not the name on the presidents desk!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  261. Thomas of CA

    I think it matters quite a bit actually. Maybe not so much on demestic policy but a whole lot on international poicy. The republican canditates have talked little about intenational policy but what I have heard them say is disturbing. Cain supposedly was joking when he suggested a lethal electric fence with Mexico but isnt ruling it out. Perry has suggested sending troups to Mexico. There will be alot of seats changing next year expecially in congress with their approval rating near 0%. There is a chance that the Democrats will hold a majority in the House and the Senate in 2013 . The race to the white house will be close but I dont think Obama will be a one term president.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  262. Name*Kenneth

    Speaking as a middle class person it means a lot the Republicans don't have the middle in mind, they are working to destroy the middle class in the United State, President Obama is the only one that is concern.

    Kenneth L Barnett

    November 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  263. Robert - Texas

    You are right Jack, with a divided government getting nothing done, we have a bunch of candidates debating for show, let's just vote for the one who looks good on tv. Cause their views are as important as what color your tie is.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  264. Paul McCreary-Arizona

    A clarifying response: Absolutely none is the answer. I am an independent, but let's say the Republicans had what they thought was a good idea to fix the economy. Then the Democrats take it, modify it or not, and the Republicans will be against it. Why? Because it really helps, the Democrats would get credit for accomplishing something positive, and that the Republicans would not want, no matter what it is. The same would be true for the reverse. Sadly. So it won't matter at all.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  265. Rosalyn

    Obviously it matters, but this has got to be the worst election by far! All of the candidates strike me as arrogant high school boys competing for a Homecoming nomination, not President of the United States. Besides, Congress needs to be taken care of before anything will happen anyways. No matter who wins, it's not looking too good for the American dream.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  266. Mike, Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey

    Presidential elections are critical since they provide employment to pundits, campaign advisors, advertisers, sign makers, bankers, lawyers, pollsters, and many more I'm sure. Who gets elected is critical since the opposing pundits, campaign advisors, advertisers, sign makers etc get to go into motion the day after the election. It's a government jobs program and a corporate money maker. Maybe we have found the one thing both parties can agree on, keep the elections humming!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  267. Houdi

    The only way to initiate change in our current system is to have term limits on the Senate and the House. These congressmen/women need to realize that being in the Senate or House is an honor not an occupation.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  268. jnpa

    As long as the dems control both the house and senate, and have enough votes to override a presidential veto, I really don't care who is president!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  269. Pat - Hampstead, Maryland

    President of the United States, leader of the free world vs CEO of Godfathers Pizza, a Newt, a Mitt, a cheerleader, a libertarian disguised as a Republican, and 2 other guys. Pathetic.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  270. Barbin

    Of course it does. Why else would the Republicans be so obstructionist toward our President.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  271. Kathleen, Twin Cities

    It matters greatly who our President is. Consider Osama bin Laden. He wasn't brought down by the President that didn't care where he was anymore in March of '03 but by his successor, Obama.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  272. Dan

    Whithout the right incentive model nothing matters. Pay them all $50 Million (let Buffet bank roll it), only here is the kicker, none get the money unless we 1) lower the debt, 2) balance the budget 3) expand the economy, and 4) increase jobs. Put everything on the table, tax cuts/increases, spending cuts/increases. Etc. pay out quarterly based on performance. All get their reward or none get it, just rolls to their replacements. It only takes an aligned incentive model.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  273. glyder

    a better question would be.should this country divide.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  274. Zach

    It doesn' matter. What does matter is that whoever we elect be ousted 4 years from now as we should be doing with any legislator that we elect. The reason we have a divided government is that it suits the needs of those in office in getting re-elected. Take that incentive away from them and you'll create an environment in which they will be forced to come to consensus on issues – rather than wasting enormous amounts of time and effort to get re-elected.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  275. Allan, Wilbur, WA

    Our nation has always been divided, whether it be in politics or society. Obama ran on the platform that he could unify and bring change for the masses. Change that has yet to manifest itself. The idea of unity shouldn't come from a handful in congress, congress is supposed to listen to the people, and the 99% are united. Unity in congress means financial reform. Financial reform means redistribution of wealth. Our leaders are on the payroll of the "Too-Big-To-Fail" Banks, Wall Street, and the FED, so it's in their best interest to be divided and not allow change. We need a strong leader that will challenge and defeat the "system". So far I've only seen one candidate that pledges to do just that.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  276. Bruce in Brooklyn

    I look at the taxes taken out of my paycheck, those not fortunate enough to have a paycheck, the quality of my children's school, how Americans treat each other, and ask myself this same question. The answer is no.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  277. Fred - Boston, MA.

    It will matter more if the gridlock persists in this dysfunctional Congress. The love-and-hate relationship between the President and the Congress is emblematic of our political historic. However, it's unprecedented that the people we sent to Washington be able to work work as the American people is in immediate need of help.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  278. Russ Krueger

    It DOES matter who the next President is. In fact, it's critical. Our Nation is at a crossroads. We must either pull back from where we now find ourselves, or continue down the path towards European-style socialism. A divided government can do neither, and staying stagnated where we are will destroy us. The only option is to give a mandate to one political party or the other based upon the convictions of the electorate, pull out of the political mud and fulfill our destiny – whatever that may be.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  279. Jeff in Minnesota

    It won't matter if we don't also address the partisianship in Congress. That is where the real problems lie in my opinion. However, ask anyone in any State if their Senator or Representative is the problem and they'll tell you no! And that is the even bigger problem.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  280. Robert - Texas

    Jack it matters as much as the color of your shirt, just as long as it matches and no one sees the stain on the inside.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  281. Joe

    The President of the United States doesn't matter, never did. It is more of a figure head than anything else now a days. Been that way since JFK, not sure why people think the President will enact any meaningful change.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  282. Wheeler Williams

    Of course it matters! The leader of our nation should be able to facilitate a resolution to any problem being addressed by congress. That person will obviously be on one side of the issue or the other so, who we pick will greatly sway these resolutions to a particular side. I will vote for the guy on the side Im on!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  283. Allen Underwood in Columbia, TN

    I used to think so, but it has all changed so drastically in my lifetime. The money from K Street and for campaigns controls everything now. Obama has done things I never thought a Democrat would. And the Republicans have gone so far to the right their policies defy description or reason.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  284. Jess L

    No, it doesn't matter. Senate,House President–they've either sold their loyalty to Big Business, or will do so in time.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  285. Jim-Charlotte NC

    Why have a President at all? Why have government? All people do is complain it and blame government for every problem they have so why not just abolish it altogether.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  286. Thad Sorenson

    It is quite interesting to read these posts and realize how little all of you know about economics, politics, and history. A few have said that congress holds the purse strings and really gets things done, but at the same time you want to praise Clinton for a balanced budget (republican controlled congress from1994 through the end of his presidency) and blame Bush for his final years (democrat controlled his last two years). You also state that the republicans have been obstructing everything that Obama is trying to do, but democrats controlled congress until 10 months ago. I would ask all of you to think a little deeper about the realities of situations and be serious when you head to the polls next year. Our nation depends on it. Finally, some attention to spelling and grammar wouldn't hurt.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  287. Wally Balloo

    As George W Bush clearly showed, you can be President without doing anything Presidential, like thinking for yourself, or making a decision on your own.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  288. Paul from Weed, California

    It matters. For peace of mind. For symbolic reasons. It's more about who's representing our nation as a personality. What form do we take from here, as a nation. This is a real turning point in our society. Who are we? We're now realizing we don't live in a sustainable society. So... Who are we? That's how it matters.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  289. Doug

    I don't think it matters who the president is. Congress is worthless...schedules very few days in session, does nothing, and blames all but themselves. They should be paid for what they do...nothing! As for a president, put a corporate robut in there, and we will have the same results.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  290. Chris S. From Indiana

    Yes, because some could change it for better, others for worse. We don't need a president who's going to run our country into worse trouble, we need someone who can get us out.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  291. Denice Pearson

    Of course not. We have seen nothing demonstrating a willingness of "political parties" to work together for the betterment of the country or its citizens. The president is the figure head leader with Congress being the key.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  292. BIll in VA

    Maybe, maybe not. We now have a President who basically ran against the war on terror only to embrace it and the people who executed it for Bush. On the other hand he wants to double down on our entitlement society and turn us into another Greece. He wants the rich to pay more but is happy that 48% of us pay no income tax. He ran against lobbyists but probably takes more money than anyone from them. Not only takes money from lobbyists but then has programs to give money to benefit campaign donors.. like the $500+ miilion for Solyndra. We have had some bad Presidents before but none wanting to turn us in to a socialist state. I hope it does matter who is President and we get one that understands what made this country great. We now have tried the naive, no experience at anything route. We need change again. We don't need this one who is try to make us something that has been shown to fail, like most of Europe.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  293. Ros.....Illinois

    We sure don't need Republicans running the ship. You see what kind of mess they got us into from 2000 through 2008. Wars, wall st. mess, housing market, economy etc., etc., etc., It will be the same o, same o, if they are all elected. We cannot let that happen again. Why can't people see what a bunch of nincompoops these Republicans are that are running?
    We have a very good President in office now. It just takes longer than you are willing to give him to get it straightened out. I will certainly vote DEMOCRAT come 2012.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  294. Steve in Dallas

    Permit me to answer the question by looking backwards. Does anyone believe that there would have been a war in Iraq if Al Gore had been sworn in?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  295. Cliff, DC

    I could not agree more. What does it matter? The Legislative Branch of the most powerful country in the world has rendered the Executive Branch of the most powerful country in the world ineffective.

    We the people voted in a Democratic President to lead this country away from the Bush policies and into an era of hope, promise and change. We then voted in a Republican Congress in a misguided effort to control the Democratic President and Senate and tame the hopeful rhetoric of change. We now, complain and bask in the after glow our decisions while our elected officials continue to show the rest of the world the “effectiveness” of DEMOCRACY.

    I did not spend over 20 years of my life as a Marine defending this country and our way of life to watch our Commander in Chief and our Lawmakers make a mockery of our Democratic process.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  296. Leo from San Antonio, Texas

    Jack, This is how much it matters: Remember George W. Bush?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  297. Not All Docs Play Golf

    The only thing in the end that matters as a consequence of who is president is the resulting Supreme Court appointees. The 5 conservative judges, in their 5/4 decision on the "Citizens United" case, have done huge damage to the democratic process in America. The ramifications of this decision will impact our nation in ways that most people can't even yet imagine. And that is the real legacy of the presidents who appointed them as right wing activist judges.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  298. Praveen

    It hardly matters who is at the helm. Everything else is already decided for him/her. How the nation goes depends upon which way the wind blows and which wind. If the lobbyists for right prevail, you see no reforms. If the unions prevail, then its the left. US Presidential politics are more of a drama than of substance. With the current state of China taking the lead, all a president can be is captain of titanic watching helplessly. I realized no pointing blaming or praising the commander in chief! What was there for those people on 80th floor of world trade center, except jumping off before they died in the fire. That's how I as a common man feel.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  299. Paul

    how much difference can it make when they are both beholden to the same interests?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  300. KarenT

    Of course it matters...and so does the House and Senate. We have a party that wants to gain power to do away with the government and privatize everything for the benefit of the 1%. The majority of Americans want to end the extreme income inequality in this country and protect the safety nets. The GOP want to go against what the majority want in order to serve Grover Norquist, the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch, ALEC and the 1%.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  301. Ted

    Does it matter who the President is? Ron Paul is the only one who matters, all the others are the same

    November 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  302. John in Olympia WA

    Jack, I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I hear a prez candidate say he will do this or that once elected. In order to achieve anything, he needs the cooperation of a majority in the House, and a supermajority in the Senate. And as Obama discovered, it isn't enough to have 60 senators of your party. What is necessary is to have 60+ Senators that agree with you, an impossibility with the BlueDogs, RINOs, etc.
    We should have a parliamentary system. Until then, it doesn't matter much who gets elected president.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  303. Jessica, Sparta, NJ

    Jack, It does matter. Remember the 8 years of W Bush? If a republican gets in the white house and has a majority in congress you can forget about any advancing the rights for LGBT people. Their rights would even be further curtailed. Also the Corporate giants would be given even a freer reign to destroy the economy once again and continue to rip off the average American. It does matter, it matters alot!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  304. Phil N. DeBlanc

    If nothing else, the possibility of two or three SCOTUS appointments makes it very important. The Citizen's United ruling ought to make that perfectly clear.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  305. Frank

    It matters because of the Presidential veto power and some particular aspects of executive authority. The GOP has become focused on its wealthiest supporters and denials of everything from gays right to marry, a woman's right to choose, and non-Christians right to religious tolerance. It has yet to do anything for the country's good which might reflect positively on the President. The current polarization is not a two-way street-it is a creation of the GOP.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  306. Ed from Miami

    It matters for many reasons, but one which is not the most important is a matter of image, or self-image of the country: the president represents America. Bush was embarrasing, he made it embarrasing to be American. If you were lucky enough to have dual citizenship, you used the other passport when travelling. Obama is very dissapointing, but not as embarrasing ....in any case the future looks bleak...we stayed in the 20th century, in the fogs of the past, and the American dream vanishes in the distance.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  307. Víctor Briggs of staten island n.y.

    Yes it matters , it matters because we have a duty as americans to keep a man in office that not only shows intelligence but also integrity . Get rid of beahnor , mcconell and cantor , wilson, bachman , rand paul , and the rest of the obstructionist to get this country moving at a more productive pace. A vote for any of the republican candidates is certain suicide for the country and its citizens.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  308. Carol

    I think it matters only in what issues get front and center attention in the media. It doesn't seem to matter as far as what legislation gets through. As long as our country is this devisive and unwilling to compromise, we won't be able to fix anything on either side of the aisle.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm |